What is your most prized possession? If you were awakened in the middle of the night and your house was on fire and your family and pets were out and you only had time to get one thing out, what would it be? Do you know?

For some of us it would be a very expensive item … maybe a painting or a piece of art. For others it would be an old faded photograph from a long time ago. For a few it might be their computer’s hard drive! And for one or two it might be the cash they’ve stuffed in their mattress!

Do you have any idea what God’s most prized possession is? What do you think He’d make sure He pulled out of the fire?

In Luke 15 Jesus made it clear for all of us. And He did it in an unmistakable way, because He wanted all of us to understand, because He wanted there to be no misunderstanding.

What is His most prized possession? You are.

In Luke 15 Jesus told three stories back to back to back. He told them a story about a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. And as His listeners listened, they were speechless. They were speechless because it was clear to them that Jesus was saying they were the ‘treasure’ that God was searching for.

And over and over again, three times, in fact, Jesus said that when the ’treasure’ was found – when the sheep was found, and when the coin was found, and when the father saw the son walking down a dusty road toward home – there was a great celebration. In fact, He said, “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10 (NLT)

Imagine the emotion that ran through the listening crowd. To think that they were valued like the sheep, like the coin, and like the son by the God of the universe!

Do you know what God’s most prized possession is? You are!

Why not take a moment right now and thank God for the way He values you! And next time you’re searching high and low for that missing sock (or the television remote!) remember to thank God that He never stops searching for His prized possessions.

Bible Reading: Luke 13:1-35 (NIV)

Repent or Perish
13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

The Narrow Door
22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Bible Reading: Luke 14:1-35 (NIV)

Jesus at a Pharisee’s House
14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

The Parable of the Great Banquet
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Bible Reading: Luke 15:1-32 (NIV)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

 

 

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  1. Nothing was more profound than this story because God allowed me to see this one played out right in front of me. I hope you won’t mind the length but it will minister to you, as it still does me. We got into Austin at our daughter’s house at about 9:00 p.m. We were hanging out watching TV just unwinding when my daughter called me into the bedroom. There was nothing unusual about her wanting to talk, so as I stepped into her room he was sitting up on the bed shaking and crying. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that her friend Clayton was just in their and that he talked about killing himself. She said, he took a lot of pills, drank a lot of alcohol, and just cut himself and that there was a knife under the bed that he just used. I asked where is he now? She said he just left and is walking outside.I told her this is a cry for help sweetie. I stepped out of the room and told Ron that he needed to go talk to this young man that was trying to hurt himself. Ron quickly got on his shoes and headed out the door. I went back in and proceeded to talk to our daughter and find out anything else we might need to know. She said he is bleeding and had been banging his head against the wall. I grabbed some shoes and hurried out the door to help find him. I walked down the alleyway and found him and Ron sitting down in a wooded area. I asked if he was okay. Ron said we are talking. I then asked Clayton are you okay? He said, “I’m tired of this stuff. I have tried talking to God, praying, everything, it’s not working.” I said, “Do you know how much you are loved?” He said “whatever, I just don’t see it, and I am not doing this anymore.” “Well you’re not a quitter. You race and sometimes you fall off. Sometimes you don’t win, but you never quit. You’re a champion, and you want to win! You keep trying because you want the prize at the end. “You haven’t even begun this walk with God, but I know you, and you want to be the best and you keep trying until you get there,” I walked away after that because I knew that Ron needed some time with him. I went back to talk to Michelle. She was very worried, upset, as we talked I reminded Michelle that this was not her fault. Clayton had a bad week and month. I found out that he had just been issued a divorce degree from his marriage of 22 years. He got fired unjustly from his job, got in a fight with his brothers, been turned down for unemployment, and his wife was trying to take the only vehicle he owned. On top of that when he tried to talk to someone about his problems no one even cared enough to listen. Not even his mom because it seems as though she had problems of her own and didn’t need any more drama. As she continued to talk me, without even thinking,
    I started praying. My daughter grabbed my hand and we prayed that God would send his ministering angels to watch over him and her. We rebuked any evil spirit that was trying to attack his thoughts that would make him feel like he had nowhere to turn to but death. We asked God to open his heart and to allow salvation to come to him. As I prayed there was a perfect peace that poured out over the place. I knew this was his moment, he was going to accept Jesus. I explained to Michelle that God walks quietly by in our lives orchestrating events to draw people to himself. We only need to be sensitive to what he is doing, because he loves us so much. He put things in place for our benefit. So we sat there just talking and waiting to watch God move. Wow, Ron and the young man came back, Ron walked into the room and told us to stay put. Then he said could we pray, so we bowed our heads and prayed. The spirit was heavy in the room. I wished you could have been there. He was going to clean up then finish talking to him. They went into the living room and talked. Ron told him a lot of things, but it wasn’t until he heard him say you are worthy of being loved that he broke down. He cried so deeply and so hard that he finally had room for God. You see when you got nothing left that’s when God can come in to fill you to overflowing. He bowed his head and prayed for the first time in his thirty-seven years of life and asked God to forgive him, and come into his heart. I could see it all over him. This peace that just washes over you—the years of fighting, hurt, and emptiness was gone.He finally got it; God loved him so much that he took the time to create him. While he was living on the streets at twelve years old, he never knew how much he was valued.
    You see with no fault of his own, his mom and dad were nonexistent. When at the age of eleven, his dad would tell him here is a fishing pole, if you don’t catch anything you don’t eat. He would not only have to walk three miles away, but when he did catch anything, he would have to cook it. He found out he was allergic to shellfish because he caught a whole bunch of them. Then he ate them and doubled over in pain. When he woke up, he was all by himself and there was vomit everywhere. His life was so dark—no food, no home, no one to love him. He figured he would be better on his own, so at twelve years old that’s what he did. God watched over him all this time to bring him to this place, so that he finally was home. So ask yourself this question, as God walked through, what unfolded? We just happened to be right where God wanted us, and one very dark night, one young man came to the end of his rope and met Jesus, and his life will never be the same. Oh and here’s one more thing it was the National Day of Prayer, it was midnight when we started praying for salvation for this one young man. You think prayer works, well, our lives testify to it every day. It was God walking quietly through Clayton’s life to reach him, to let him know he was loved, he had value, and he now has a Father that he knows will be there for him. Now, Clayton’s walk won’t be like mine, but then he will reach people I never could. Clayton smiles now, hug now, and loves now because he knows now that God cares. Isn’t that what we all want? Thank you, Father, for Clayton’s new life that’s full of love, joy, and acceptance that only comes from you! Thank you for sharing your heart with people that truly needed a touch! The next day Clayton posted on his Facebook: Yesterday I finely took God into my life, got my first bible I think its time. I’m looking forward to a new change in my life and my new journey with the man upstairs. Thank you Brenda, Ron and Michelle for believing in me in these hard times I may look tuff at times but the truth is I’ve been hurting on the inside. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God, did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3: 16-17, ESV).

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